Friday February 6 at 8 pm
Host: Kelley Jo Burke
Robert Currie* WINNER!
Marie Elyse St George
House Musician Lee Kozak
Musical guests: Gareth Cook and Jeremy Cook
About the Event:
'The questions started early in the day. Why where there a bunch of stuffed birds in the lobby? What was with the toy plane? The big (6 ft wing span) toy plane? And can we borrow the birds? We could do something just hilarious to the evening news host if we could just borrow the birds.
The birds decorating our concert galleria, which is also CBC Regina's lobby, were courtesy of the local natural history museum, and Ducks Unlimited, and were not available for punking. The perfectly functional model Japanese fighter plane was from a Regina hobby club...and the delicious smell of samosas and pakoras was courtesy of Immigrant Women of Saskatchewan--a group whose members know something about flight that has nothing to do with wing span.
So with the room gorgeous with flying things, and the crowd stuffed with spicy appetizers and beverage of choice in hand, we began the evening with young winners of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild Windscript awards, doing their first public reading. We then headed into the event proper, opening with a poem from Teresa Yang--the youngest poet to ever participate in the National Poetry Face-Off. Just turned 17, her mature poem, and haunting reading blew the socks off an audience primarily made up of writers and artists.
Trevor Herriot next proved that this award-winning prose writer (and CBC bird columnist) had a poem or two in him. He was followed by Marie-Elyse St George, the oldest poet to ever participate in the NPFO, at 80 years old this December--just to prove that taking flight can happen at any time of life....then Saskatchewan Poet Laureate Robert Currie's hilarious and lovely winning poem, and finally Kelly-Anne Riess's flight paranoia.
All the poets were backed, as always, by our house guitarist Lee Kozak. And this year, our added entertainment was a song commissioned for the event by composer Gareth Cook, and played on piano and viola by Gareth and his son Jeremy Cook.
It was a wonderful, feathery night....
Kelley Jo, host/producer SoundXchange, CBC Saskatchewan
Trevor Herriot is a prairie naturalist and writer. His new book, Grass, Sky, Song: Promise and Peril in the World of Grassland Birds, comes out in February, 2009. His first book, River in a Dry Land,was a Canadian Bestseller and won the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize, the Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award, the Regina Book Award, and the CBA Libris Award for First-Time Author. It was a finalist for many other honours including the Governor General’s Award. His second, Jacob’s Wound, was shortlisted for the Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize. Herriot appears regularly on CBC Radio as a guest naturalist and is a monthly personality on the call-in show “Blue Sky.” He lives in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Robert Currie lives with his wife, Gwen, in Moose Jaw where he taught English for thirty years at Central Collegiate. He is the author of five books of poetry and three of fiction, with a new poetry collection, Witness, coming in 2009. Currie is Saskatchewan's current Poet Laureate.
Marie Elyse St.George blends visual art and literary forms. She has won awards from the SWG and the LCP, published one volume of poetry, appeared in anthologies, been aired on CBC, and in 2006 won the Saskatchewan Book Award for "Once in a Blue Moon: An Artist's Life" featuring her poems, memoir and paintings.
Kelly-Anne Riess is the author of the poetry collection "To End a Conversation" and the bestselling "Saskatchewan Book of Everything." Her work has appeared in magazines and newspapers across the country and on the A&E Biography Channel and History Television. In 2008, she was short-listed for a Lieutenant Governor's Arts Award.
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